Life Story of a 60's Chick
Author’s Note: This story is divided into arts by a few different years within the decade of the 1960’s. It is a light-hearted story but may have some disturbing or sad parts to it having to do with Vietnam and the years 1968-1969, among other twists and turns. It wil then go into the future. Just wait and see… Any mistakes in this story are accounted for by my not being a history expert.
Life Story of a 60’s Chick
By: Ashley Long
Illustrated by: Holly Heffner
Before I bring you into reality I want to give you, the audience, a brief biography of me. My name is Maureen Anne Clark. I was born July 25th 1948 to a working class family in a small town in Massachusetts. My father, Greg, works in the steel mills and my mother, Michelle, is a housewife and aspiring poet.
When I turned 4 I got a sister, Samantha Marie. I also have another sister who is a year older then me. Her name is Alicia Michelle.
I’m average height for a girl my age. I have shoulder-length brown hair and green eyes. My sisters are both taller, they must have gotten Dad’s genes, and both have blue eyes instead.
After attending a grade school, I went to secondary school. I liked that better, although we go to all girls Catholic Schools. I am now in the 10th grade of the school. It is 1964 in the beginning of February. I don’t mind it; the only thing that bothers me is these awful uniforms we always have to wear. I am in school from 8 n the morning till 3 in the afternoon. I then meet my sisters at the train station and we hitch our ride home. This is where out story begins-
Part 1- 1964
“Hey Maureen, how was your day?” my sister Alicia asked me as we waited at the train station.
“Same old stuff. I’m getting tired of school though,” I said, “When’s Sammy coming?”
“She should be here any minute now. The elementary leaves out a few minutes after us,” she replied.
Just then I saw a figure running up to us.
“Guess what? Guess what!” Sammy said when she finally reached us. I shrugged.
“The Beatles are on Ed Sullivan tonight!” Sammy screamed. (Note: I didn’t know what day their appearance was on so I made it up. Hope it doesn’t offend anyone!)
I sighed, “Oh yeah, that band you like.”
“Well will you guys watch it with me?” she pleaded.
I thought for am moment then looked at Alicia who nodded.
“Alright, we’ll watch it. I can’t promise you I’ll like it though,” Alicia said.
Sammy smiled ear-to-ear, “I’m so happy! Hey look here comes the train!”
It came to a complete stop and my sisters and I boarded. We found seats in the back.
Sammy opened her book bag. She pulled out a small 45’ record of the Beatles.
“There they are. Aren’t’ they neat?” she asked.
I looked at the picture and hesitated, “Yeah sure Sammy I’m sure they’re great.”
I thought the first thing I would do if I were those Beatles was get a haircut. Their bangs hung down to their eyebrows. It bugged me so much I had to hand the record back. Every time Sammy had the record on in the living room, I’d go upstairs and read my books. I liked music, but not that little kid stuff. Although I had to admit, that john Lennon was pretty cute. But I wasn’t going to tell her that! I had a boyfriend, Davis Gary, who I loved dearly. I had dreams of white picket fences and 4 children playing in the yard and I wasn’t going to spoil it. Sure we were young, but my parents had been too. David even gave me his class ring to wear. It was too big so I put it on a necklace but he was so sweet! I looked over at Alicia and she smiled. I could tell she was thinking the same thing as me but if we didn’t watch it with her, Sammy would tell Mom and Dad and they would yell at us. So I decided I’d watch it then call David afterward to plan a date.
After a 20-minute ride, the train stopped. We got off and walked out of the station. The walk home was only a few blocks and after that ride, we needed the walk. Alicia unlocked the house and we piled our book bags on the floor by the steps. Our work could be done later, it was a Friday anyway.
First thing, Sammy picked up the phone.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Calling Daddy and asking him if I can have Amanda over tonight,” she replied.
“Why not wait till Mom comes back from the store,” Alicia said.
Sammy agreed and hung up.
I went in the kitchen and got myself a sandwich. I dug my book out of my bag and then sat down in the living room and read.
After finishing 3 chapters, and my sandwich, I decided to do what little homework I had just in case. I finished and then sat there.
“You bored too?” Alicia asked. I looked around, I hadn’t even noticed the other two. They were sitting there just as I was.
“Let’s watch TV!” Sammy said. I nodded and she turned on our 25” black and white.
“Is that those Beatles of yours?” Alicia asked. Sammy had the news on.
“Oh! Look at them! Aren’t they cool?” Sammy asked me with a squeak.
I watched the playback of the day’s happenings. Them getting off the plane and waving to the fans. I could only imagine how bad the Sullivan show was going to be.
“You didn’t answer me! Aren’t they?” Sammy asked me in an annoyed tone.
I was shook out of my thoughts, “Sure, not too bad. I don’t much like British guys though.”
I was lying; I’m a sucker for accents. I once heard Elvis talk and almost fainted. Although I hadn’t heard these guys talk yet.
The news continued on with other reports of the day and Sammy turned the channel. Reruns of ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet’ were on and Alicia and I began to swoon over the teenage Ricky Nelson.
“Now’s there’s a cute rock star if I’ve ever seen one!” Alicia said as we watching Ricky sing ‘Traveling Man.’ I nodded in agreement.
Sammy just rolled her eyes, “You guys are so prejudice.”
“Wow, a new word for you Miss Samantha Marie Clark! Where ever did you learn it?” I asked sarcastically.
She looked at me, about to say another new word, which wouldn’t be appropriate, but just, then Mom came back from the store.
“Hello, girls, have a good time at school?" she asked piling 2 bags of groceries on the kitchen table.
“Yes Mom. Can I ask you something?” Sammy said from the living room.
“Sure what is it?”
Sammy left the room to ask Mom about Amanda and I turned up Ricky Nelson.
“Guess what? Amanda’s is coming over tonight!” Sammy told us once she came back.
“Oh great, another Beatle freak in this house,” Alicia said.
“Watch your mouth young lady! You will watch this show with your sister and her friend. You too Maureen!” Mom yelled and then continued her duties.
I stuck my tongue out at Sammy and she replied with it.
So we had until 7 to figure out what to do. I continued reading my book for class. It was ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ a very dull book but I was being tested on it. Alicia did her homework and Sammy did hers to after the TV got impossible.
Before too long we heard Dad’s ’57 Cadillac pull in the driveway and could smell the cooking of chicken.
“Evening girls,” Dad said when he entered the house; he went to Mom and gave her an affectionate kiss.
“What’s dinner honey?” he asked.
“Chicken,” she replied.
He smiled in satisfaction and sat down in the living room to his paper.
Sammy took this chance to tell Dad our plans for the evening.
“So what do you think?” she asked after her extensive explanation.
“I think it will be fine, Amanda over at 6:30 and all. Michelle, I want to take you out for dessert to tonight,” he said. She smiled; glad to get the daily motherhood off her hands.
I whispered to Alicia, “You know what this means.”
“You girls will watch your sister and her friend. No complaints,” dad said firmly. We nodded obediently. Mom then called us to dinner.
It was a home cooked meal, Mom at her best.
We finished and by 6:30 a knock came at the door. Sammy answered and squealed as she and Amanda hugged then ran up to her room to fix up everything.
Dad helped Mom with her coat.
“You need us just call Louisa’s. And don’t wait up,” Dad said. We nodded. Just then the two friends tumbled down the staircase. They sat down on the couch with us and we waved Mom and dad goodbye. We flipped the TV to the right station and waited.
I tired to make conversation, “So Amanda who’s your favorite Beatle?”
“Paul! His eyes are so dreamy!” she said in a faint tone, “Who’s yours?”
I looked at her in shock, “I don’t have one.”
“Oh come on Mo, Alicia and I both know you ~love~ John Lennon. You have his name all over your notebook and you drool over my poster every time you come in my room!” Sammy exclaimed.
I blushed bright red and Alicia just smiled, replying to the question that she kind of liked George. I vowed to prove Sammy wrong later.
“Oh look! It’s coming on!” Amanda screamed.
We turned to the TV and sure enough, Ed Sullivan was introducing them. As soon as their name was out, the girls screamed. Not only in the studio by in my house.
“Shut up! The neighbors will hear you!” I yelled.
The two friends swooned over Paul. I watched Alicia blush every time they showed a close up of George Harrison. When they showed John, I nearly fell off the couch. He was even better looking on TV!
Finally I got to hear them talk, after 5 songs. Those accents could drive a girl insane!
Eventually, it was over. Too bad for us all, we really got into the music.
After that, we got ready for bed. I mean not really, we showered and all but stayed up at least till 10 talking all about the show.
Mom and Dad came home and immediately went to bed, advising us to do so. After saying goodnight to Alicia, Sammy came in my room.
“So how did you like my Beatles? Not as bad as you thought huh? Could it actually be said that you and Alicia are now fans? ~Gasp~ I don’t believe it!” she said sarcastically.
I hit her with my pillow and we both when to bed.
I woke up the next morning at 9 am to music in the next room. I could never get as much sleep as I wanted on weekends. I went to my sister Sammy’s room, where the music was coming from.
“Good Beatle morning Mo!” Sammy exclaimed as I entered. ‘Introducing the Beatles’ was laying on her floor and it was spinning on the record player.
I groaned, “Yeah good morning you two. Whatever happened to catching up on sleep in the morning?”
“It died with the return of the sun,” Alicia said coming in. she was also woken up, “What do you say we go make breakfast?”
“I’m up for that. Mom and Dad are always over at Aunt Cheryl’s on weekends anyway,” I replied.
Alicia and I slowly crawled down the stairs, followed by our sister and her best friend. They brought the record along and as I made the toast I heard ‘Twist and Shout’ begin. I smiled because I knew John sang this song.
The toast popped and I buttered it. As I was in the middle of this, I remembered my plan to call David the night before. I smacked my forehead.
“Alicia, I’ll be right back. If this comes up can you get it?” I asked. She nodded because she was done making eggs.
I picked up the phone in the living room.
“Turn it down!” I yelled as I dialed David’s house. Sammy did what I said.
“Mrs. Gary? This is Maureen. How are you this morning?”
“I’m great thank you. I assume you want to talk to David?”
I heard a rustling then Mrs. Gary yelling for David.
“Hi babe, what’s going on?”
“Hi Davy! I missed you all week! I was wondering if you’d want to get together today?”
“Sure, how’s 11 for you? We can shop around and get lunch. Then later…”
“David! You know I’m not like that! But maybe you can come over for dinner.”
“Alright, see you in 2 hours. I’ll pick you up.”
“Love you. Bye.”
I hung up and went back into the kitchen.
“I’m going out with Dave this afternoon,” I said to Alicia when I was back.
“Ok, I was thinking of taking the two Beatle freaks shopping anyway,” Alicia replied, “Food’s ready.”
I yelled the same to the others and then we sat down to our breakfast.
“So when are the Beatles coming to Massachusetts?” I asked Sammy.
“See you are interested! I think in a week or so. What do you know Amanda?” she asked her friend.
“A week. We should get tickets!” Amanda replied.
I nodded in agreement, “Maybe you could look into that when you go out today.”
Sammy agreed that she would and tell me the price later. I had a little over $100 burning in my purse anyway. It begged to be spent.
We finished eating and then I headed up to my room to get dressed. I have the hardest time picking out an outfit, no matter what. I finally decided on jeans and a red blouse, nothing fancy but not too plain. I put David’s class ring around my neck and wore my Mary Jane’s. I loved the way they looked with flare jeans. I touched up my face and then headed downstairs.
The others had gotten dressed and were getting ready to head to a store or 20.
The time was 10:50. I said my goodbyes to my sisters and Amanda, bidding them a good time, then set myself on the couch waiting. I just remembered to leave Mom and Dad a note for when they came home. I said where I was and where the others were too.
I then waited the next 5 minutes till David pulled up. I put my sister’s record on, which she had left on the record player. It started with ‘I Saw Her Standing There.’ I found myself dancing and singing along. I didn’t even hear David pull up, all I heard was a knock on the living room window. I ran to the door and let him in.
“What are you doing the Twist in here?” David said as he entered the doorway.
I took the record off and out it away, “No, I was listening to my sister’s Beatles record.”
“Oh so you were doing the ‘Twist and Shout’ then?” he asked.
I whacked his arm and the grabbed my purse, “Come on, let’s go.”
We sat in David’s 1957 T-Bird and the radio blared with the sounds of the Beach Boys ‘Surfin U.S.A.’ we pulled away and were off.
“It’s the middle of winter and they still play this stuff!” I said over the music.
“We have to keep from freezing somehow!” David replied. I just smiled; he had the coolest way of thinking about things.
We decided to get ourselves some lunch first at an old hometown diner, ‘Louisa’s.’ it hadn’t been updated since 1955 so there was still an old jukebox playing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and even Frank Sinatra in there.
We got a booth and ordered the same as always- a milkshake to share and two cheeseburgers with French fries. David and I had spent many after movie dates eating ice cream sundaes here.
David was certainly the man I would marry, I was set on it. I went to an all girls’ Catholic School across town so I didn’t see him during the week. In my opinion, David was cuter then John Lennon or any of the Beatles, don’t tell my sister that, she’d slaughter me! He had light brown hair with green eyes. About 5’ 9”, I loved that, as I’m only 5’3”.
Our food came within 10 minutes and we each took a sip of the milkshake before picking at the other stuff.
“Dave, would you ever consider getting a Beatles haircut?” I asked. He looked at me like I had 2 heads.
“Do you think that would look good on me?”
I tried to imagine David Gary with John Lennon’s hair. I shook my head, “No, I guess not.”
He smiled, “You want me to look like John Lennon? Or Paul McCartney! Oh Paulie!” he was imitating my sister and I giggled.
We finished our food, then paid Louisa and left a tip. We drove off to the new department store up the road. Varieties were pretty rare in our small town so it was the chance of a lifetime to have such a big store.
“Where would you like to go my lady?” David said in a fake British accent.
I giggled, “Um, how about this shop.” I pointed to the clothing store.
In the store, I bought skirts and blouses.
They also had a section of Beatles stuff. I laughed as David put on the wig and shook his head singing ‘Love me do’ at the same time.
“That must make them dizzy!” David said putting it back.
“That doesn’t look good on you. Oh well,” I said.
“What’s this?” he asked. I looked at the item in question, a Beatle boot.
“Oh those are Beatle boots. They’re Cuban heeled and stuff,” I said. He looked at me curiously.
“What? I have a fanatic for a sister!” I said.
He laughed, “I pity you. You probably know their suit sizes.”
“Actually, they have Paul’s and George’s in the record,” I replied. He just rolled his eyes.
We left this store and hit some others.
In the record store I met up with Sammy.
“Hey guess what? The Beatles are going to be here in 3 days! Tickets are $5,” she told me.
I gave her $5, “Here’s my ticket money. Give me mine when I get home.”
She took the money and ran off with the others.
David just looked at me, “I guess you’re a fan too?”
I smiled, “Oh yeah, since last night. Come on let’s walk and talk.”
“So you watched Sullivan last night? I think my whole block was watching that but me. I heard ‘All my Loving’ blaring everywhere. My little sister had it on too. You know Andrea?” David explained.
“Yeah, she likes Ringo right?” I asked.
“She won’t let me forget it too,” he replied.
I smiled, “I know how that feels. Though I like John.”
“You traitor! I thought you loved me!” David joked.
I laughed, “Yeah whatever. Does this prove it?”
I kissed him and put my hand in his.
“That’ll work!” he said after it.
We then headed to a movie theater and decided to see a film.
“So was time is it now?” I asked as we exited the cinema.
“Um, 5,” David told me.
“We should get home, everyone’s probably there,” I said.
“Are you sure your Mom won’t mind?”
“Of course not!” I replied, “She loves you!” yeah yeah yeah played in my head.
We went to the parking lot and drove the 10 minutes to my house.
Davis and I walked in the house and found Alicia on the couch reading, while the other two were upstairs. Mom was in the kitchen making dinner; my favorite spaghetti. Dad wasn’t home yet.
“Afternoon Mom. Is it ok if David stays for dinner?” I asked as I went into the kitchen.
“Yes of course. I’ll have enough,” she replied.
I nodded, and then headed into the living room. My sisters were there along with David watching TV. ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ was on again. I figured that Amanda had gone home and sat down next to David.
Half an hour later, after that episode, Sammy wanted to show David her bedroom. He reluctantly agreed.
“This is just scary!” David whispered to me as we entered Sammy’s room. It was full of all the Beatles memorabilia, posters and record my sister could get her hands on.
David approached the poster on her wall above her bed and proceeded to imitate me.
“Oh John! Mr. Lennon! Come down from that poster and marry me!” he said in a high-pitched voice.
I rolled my eyes and blushed.
“Oh Maureen! I would of I could come out of this poster!” he said in a fake accent.
I smiled and hit his arm, “Knock it off Dave!”
“Alright I’ll stop! I think your Mom just called us anyway,” he replied.
We went downstairs to find my parents at the table ready to eat.
The family and David ate our dinner.
“So I assume you kids had fun today?” Dad asked.
“Yes Dad! We even got tickets to the Beatles concert on Tuesday!” Sammy exclaimed.
“Oh? Those long haired boys you all like then?” Dad asked.
I laughed, “Yeah that’s them! By the way, did you get my ticket?”
Alicia handed me it, “There you are.”
“Thank you,” I said looking at my ticket, “3rd row! Cool!”
We finished eating and then spent some quality time as a family watching TV, with David too of course.
Around 8 pm, David had to leave me. I gave him an affectionate kiss goodnight and said we could go to dinner tomorrow night before I have to go to school again. He agreed and said he’d pick me up at 7:30.
I then did my nightly routine, said goodnight to all, and crawled into bed falling asleep by 9:30.
I woke up the next morning a little after 11 am. It felt good to get more sleep!
Sundays are my family’s quality time, going on outings and such. So I dressed in a skirt about to my knee and a nice blouse. Then headed downstairs.
Everyone else was already down, and Mom had our breakfast set up.
“Good Morning Maureen. Sleep well?” Mom asked.
“Of course! So what’s on the agenda today?” I asked.
“We’re going to visit your Grandmother Julia and your cousins will be there. We’ll have a late lunch, and then leave maybe around 5. Did you make plans with David?” Dad explained.
I nodded, “A date at 7:30.”
We eventually finished eating and then grabbed the usual things for our outings, then hopped in Dad’s Cadillac, off to Grandma’s.
My 2 sisters and I piled into the back seat.
Mom turned the radio on slightly so you could barely hear it. ‘Baby it’s You’ was playing in the background of our family conversations.
“Those boys are everywhere eh?” Dad asked.
“Yes pretty big right now Dad,” I replied.
“When is that concert of yours? 2 days?” Dad asked. I nodded.
“Well what do you think Greg? I think the girls, it will be Amanda, and ours should go themselves. They can get home on their own, it’s only 3 blocks away,” Mom said.
“Sure, your curfew will be midnight but try to be home before that because of class the next day,” Dad said.
We all nodded obediently. Finally a night by ourselves.
15 minutes later we pulled up in my Grandmother, Julia’s, driveway. The house was old, built in the 1800’s. My family, I guess you could say, has a bit of money so it’s been in the family since then. My grandfather, Dad’s dad, Greg Sr. died early of alcoholism in 1958. It was hard on my Dad when it happened, because it was so sudden. So after my Aunt Cheryl divorced her husband, she also lost her house. She moved in with Grandma Julia, along with her 2 children, Ryan is 11 and Ashley who is my age.
“Hello darlings!” Grandma said when we entered the house. It reminded me of something I heard the houses look like in England. Paintings of my relatives who lived long ago. Mom always said I looked like my Dad’s grandmother, Angela. I would carefully look at the painting and think no I couldn’t. A staircase winded up to a second floor where there were 5 or 6 bedrooms. My Dad has a lot of siblings but they all live in random states across the U.S.
I hugged my elderly grandmother of about 60, “It’s so good to see you Grandma!”
She smiled at my sisters and I, “You all are getting so beautiful. Just like my mother and her sisters.” She was referring back to Angela.
Aunt Cheryl approached us and said how great it was to see us all. She also told me that Ashley wanted me in the den.
I went through the hallway and finally found the den. Alicia stayed back with Grandma and my parents, while Ryan and Sammy went off in the yard playing with Auntie’s Jack Russell Terrier, Pete.
“Hey cuz!” Ashley said running up to me. She was always full of energy.
The den was where the fun was. Games, TV, radio, record player, anything you could want. We also had our tea there. Grandma kept it in the family since our ancestors came from England.
“What’s going on?” I asked her.
“I heard from a reliable source that you like the Beatles now,” Ashley said.
I smiled, “Yup I sure do!”
“Who’s your favorite?”
“Hands down, John Lennon.”
She gasped and I mean really gasped, “Wow me too!
Isn’t he so great? Oh my gosh, I mean look at him!” She shoved the record in my face.
“Yes I see!”
After yapping on for a long time about why John should be the cute Beatle, we began to read the stats about each of the guys out of sheer boredom.
“Girls, it’s time for lunch!” Aunt Cheryl yelled into the den.
Ashley and I walked down to the dining room.
The table was long with a white tablecloth over it. My Mom and Auntie had made everyone sandwiches along with salads.
“Your Mom told me you girls have plans Tuesday night. A Beatles concert is it?” Aunt Cheryl asked.
Alicia nodded, “Yes we’re in the 3rd row.”
Ashley’s eyes went wide, “Really? Cause I have a ticket too! Maybe we could all go together!”
I agreed, “we can come pick you up around 6:30 then we’re walking to the theater.”
Ashley said that would be great and promised to be ready on time.
After lunch, Ashley, Alicia and I decided to join our siblings outside. The air was briskly cold as the wind blew hair particles around your head. I threw my scarf around my neck and buttoned my coat, regretting that I had worn I skirt that day.
Pete ran up to me and jumped up.
“Pete! You get me all dirty!” I said bending down to pet the cute Jack Russell. He was a year and a half old and still acted like a puppy.
Ryan ran up and attacked Pete, rolling him around on the ground. Oh well, I thought, boys will be boys.
I walked over to where my sister Alicia was. Ashley and Sammy had obviously gotten too cold and went back inside.
Alicia was staring into the road.
“What’s out there?” I asked looking in her direction.
She pointed, “There, a car I think it’s stuck in the ditch out there.”
After much debate, we decided to go out and see who it was and what kind of help they needed.
It ended up being the car’s chauffer.
“Hello sir, is there anything we can help you with?” Alicia asked the man.
"My car’s broken down here. The cold I guess, it should start up in a few minutes though,” he explained.
“You driving someone famous around here. Why this is just a small town sir I-“ I was cut off by an eye staring at me from the car window.
The mysterious person rolled the window down all the way and I stared, “Alicia look!”
She looked and there we were, staring for minutes on end.
“Hello ladies. Checking out wonderful Massachusetts today before the concert then got stuck,” the man with the English accent said.
“You’re um-,” I said nervously.
“John Lennon miss. Pleased to meet you. As I said, the boys and I were going around and got stuck. Say hi boys,” John said.
The other 3 Beatles waved to us through the window.
“I’d like to get some air Johnny, let me out,” Paul said stepping out the car.
By then Alicia and I were just insane. We couldn’t say a word, only watch as they all stepped out.
“Bloody cold out here!” George said.
John nodded agreeing and I saw him shiver.
“So are you girls fans?” Paul asked.
“You could say that,” Alicia finally got out.
“Are you going to the concert on Tuesday?” Ringo asked.
We both nodded, “Yes!”
Suddenly the driver started the car up again, “Get in boys, got a meeting to go to!”
“Alright well it was nice talking to you both. What did you say you’re names were again?” John asked.
We told them, then the Beatles had to leave is. They drove off in a cloud of smoke.
“Oh my gosh Alicia! We have to tell the others!” I exclaimed.
We ran back, as best as possible, to the house. Everyone was in the den.
“Ash, Sammy, you’ll never guess who we just met on the road!” I said out of breath.
“Who?” they asked.
“The Beatles!” we both said.
“Yeah and I’m sure John said have fun at the concert too. Come on guys, quit lying!” Sammy said.
We explained the entire story to them and all they could do was stare at us. We then decided to keep it a secret from anyone else.
Before we knew it, it was time to go home. We said our goodbyes to Grandma, Auntie and the cousins then went home.
After eating dinner, I went up to my room at 7 to get ready for my date with David.
I still couldn’t believe that we had met the Beatles! I had met John Winston Lennon! I smiled at the framed picture my sister had given me. John was next to my other picture of David and I.
I dressed in a new outfit my Aunt Megan sent me from England. She was my only relative who moved there. She’s a very independent woman. And she’s always upon the newest fashions, so she sent me this mod outfit. It was a blouse and mini skirt. I touched up my face then went downstairs and waited for David to come.
At 7:30 sharp, David pulled up and beeped his horn. I grabbed my purse, said goodbye to my folks, and then went out to the car.
“Hello, got the car all nice and warm for you,” David said as I slammed the door shut.
“Thank you. Shall we?” I asked. He nodded and off we went.
“Do you like Italian?” David asked me as we pulled into the restaurant.
“Yes of course,” I said. We got out of the car and headed into the building.
“Hello, table for 2 please,” David said.
“Yes right this way sir,” the man told us.
We followed the man to a nice booth just fit for 2 people. He gave us our menus then informed us that the waitress would be with us in a few minutes.
“What would you like my dearest?” David asked in fake accent.
I giggled, “Um, how about the manicotti for me.”
“I’ll order for you,” he replied.
The waitress came and we ordered. I got what I said and David got rigatoni.
“So I guess it’s off to school again tomorrow?” David asked.
“Yeah, I won’t see you again till next weekend,” I said with a pout. He smiled at me.
I looked around the restaurant. A group of guys were over at the other end and one of them was staring at me. I smiled politely at the bearded man and he winked and mouthed ‘Hello.’ I blushed and disregarded it, turning my conversation back to David.
“Hello miss I think we know each other,” the man in question before has approached our table.
I looked at him, “Uh, no I don’t think so.”
He took off the glasses and beard for a spilt second and I saw who it was; John Lennon.
“Call me Winston,” he whispered, “May I join you a second? Won’t you introduce your man here?”
I motioned him sitting down next to me, “David this is Winston, Winston this is my boyfriend David.”
They shook hands, “Nice to meet you Winston.”
“Pleasure,” John replied.
“What did you say your last name was again?” David asked.
“Winston Lennon,” John said with a smile.
David looked at me, and then at him, “Oh I get it! When did you meet him?”
“This afternoon at Grandma’s. There car broke down and Alicia and I saw them and met the band,” I explained.
“Well better be getting back, I’ll tell the guys you said hi and give my love to that sister of yours,” John said then left the table.
“Wow, Lennon is your friend? Amazing,” David said.
“I know! He’s so nice!” I said. David rolled his eyes.
The waitress then brought our meals and we ate and talked. I saw the Beatles leave and wav goodbye to us.
“Boy am I stuffed!” I said.
“Me too. I’ll go pay while you get your coat on,” David said. He went to pay and I went to get my coat.
“Ok let’s hitch out, where to?” David asked as we exited the place.
“How about we take a walk around the boardwalk?” I asked, David agreed and we walked hand in hand into it. We visited shop upon shop and saw the local musicians.
After about an hour of walking around the boardwalk, David drove me home a t 9 o’ clock.
We walked up to my door.
“Well goodnight Mo, I guess I’ll see you next week. I’ll be sure to call sometime,” Davis told me.
I smiled, “Goodnight David.”
He then drove off and I went into my house.
I said goodnight to my parents who were sitting watching TV. They told me my sisters were already in bed.
I did my nightly things, and then was in bed and asleep by 10 o’ clock, sweet dreams for school the next day.
“Dinnnngggg!” my alarm clock rang at quarter of 7. I sighed and pulled myself out of bed, time for school again.
Mom had my uniform all clean and out on my desk chair. It was your traditional Catholic girl apparel, the black and white skirt down to your ankles along with black stockings and your black Mary Jane’s. Then a blouse of the same colors, always long-sleeved no matter the weather. I put my long brown hair in a braid, applied the smallest amount of eyeliner so the sisters (nuns) couldn’t see it, and then made my ay downstairs for breakfast.
Dad was just finishing up and heading out the door while Mom made our breakfast. We looked like 3 identical twins, all in the same outfit.
“Morning guys,” I said sleepily sitting down to my plate of pancakes, “What’s the weather supposed to be today Mom?”
“Little above freezing, maybe light snow,” Mom replied.
After finishing, we grabbed our coats, scarves, and gloves, said goodbye to Mom then headed on our merry way the few blocks to the train station.
“So when you guys talked to them yesterday, where they nice?” Sammy asked. She was obviously asking about our close encounter of the Beatle kind.
“Yeah they were nice, very actually, “ Alicia replied.
“I’m surprised you didn’t faint on John, Mo,” Sammy said to me.
I blushed, “He’s much better looking in person. I’m surprised too,” I said.
At 7:30 on the dot, the train stopped. We boarded and waited on the train for 30 minutes before we got off and walked to the school.
It looked like an old convent, built in the 1800’s. My Mom went to school there so we had to as well. I personally hated it.
I said goodbye to my sisters, then walked to my homeroom. I wouldn’t see them together again till the end of the day. Sammy went to the secondary and I would see Alicia at lunch.
I walked down the hall and piled my not needed books in my locker. Then walked to room #206. Up the stairs in my dress them down the hall. I entered the room just as homeroom was starting.
“Good Morning Miss Clark, please take your seat,” Sister Janice told me.
I sat down at my assigned seat next to my best friend Lucy. My head flopped down on my desk on my books.
“Miss Clark! Sit up straight!” Sister yelled. I sat up and looked at Lucy.
“Are you that tired?” she asked. I nodded a little.
“Let me guess, another date with David,” she said.
“Yeah but I’m never a morning person!” I replied.
Just then the bell for 1st period rang and we both headed to our class, all our morning classes were together and lunch.
My morning consisted of Biology, Algebra, and my language. Each class was a little less then an hour.
My afternoon smiled on me; English, Shakespeare, and History.
I finally got through my morning, after barely falling asleep learning about Genetics in Biology class and trying to understand my teachers in Algebra and Spanish. I headed off to lunch feeling very hungry but very happy. The lunchroom was huge, about to fit a thousand girls. I found the booth my sister, her friend Linda and Lucy were already at and sat down.
“Wow, what a morning! I barely got through it! What’s for lunch today?” I asked.
Alicia frowned at me, “Meatloaf.”
I made a face like I was about to die and the others giggled at me.
“Come on, let’s find something eatable up there,” Alicia said. We all went up, grabbed peanut butter and jelly and a drink, paid, and then went back to our booth.
“So what’s this I hear about meeting the Beatles?” Linda asked. I looked at Alicia and mouthed ‘You told her?’ She nodded yes.
“It was fun. I’m sure you know the whole story,” I replied.
Lucy stared at me, “You met them!”
Alicia cut me off and explained the scenario to Lucy.
“Wow that’s so cool!” she said.
Before we knew it was 12:30; time to get back to our classes. I went to my English class; we were studying my favorite thing, poetry. We read Dylan Thomas’ poem ‘Don’t go gently into that good night.’ Then we discussed it for half the period.
The sister who taught us was lively and young, no more then 27. We then discussed some of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Next up, Shakespeare my favorite part of my day. We were reading ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and I was playing the fairy queen. The one bad thing about an all girls’ school was that a girl had to do the guys part. Some of the girls were just horrible in there reading, but we got through it all the same.
My last class of the day as History. My teacher, Sister Olivia, was an oddball. She could be happy one day and angry with us the next. I guess she was entitled to it because she was in her mid 50’s.”Class, girls, today we’re talking about today’s culture. Musically, politically, and in the home. We’ll start off with music. What’s going on right now, those Beatles?” she asked.
I smiled; we were having a discussion on my boys. But now to see if it was a negative or positive one.
“Miss Clark, you seem to be amused by my choice of subject. Would you please give me your opinion on this phenomenon?” she said staring at me.
I blushed, “Well Sister Olivia, I like them. The music appeals to teenagers.”
“And I thought Elvis was the devil! Shaking around like an immoral pervert! Those Beatles take it one step farther with their ‘Please Please me’ of sorts!” she exclaimed.
I grew angry, “Excuse me Madam but I don’t think that’s the case! Elvis got on America’s good side and I think the Beatles will have no problem,” I replied.
“It’s no use talking to you incompetent girls! All you care about is who’s going to hold your hand and not what’s really important! Moving to politics, President Kennedy is dead! There’s been a downfall in the society ever since then!” she said.
The girl next to me raised her voice at this and I was relieved that someone else had taken the battle.
Sister Olivia loved debates and she was always right!
I think we all left History that day fuming with hatred for our teacher. I went to my locker and piled my books in my bag then headed down to the entrance to meet up with my sisters.
“Why are you all red?” Alicia asked as we walked to the train station.
“Sister Olivia, another debate of hers,” I said.
“Oh the witch, bad mood again today?” she asked. I nodded.
“I’ll be fine, she’s just so mad about everything on days like this!” I said.
“Yeah I got in plenty of arguments too,” Alicia replied.
We walked to the bench and waited for Sammy. When she came, we boarded the train.
It was a usually quiet train ride and before I knew it, we were walking home.
We entered the house and greeted Mom. I headed up to my room and my sisters stayed in the living room.
I plopped my bag down on my bed then went over to my record player and turned Buddy Holly on. ‘Peggy Sue’ softly came out of the speakers. I laid my head down on my pillow and fell asleep. I had been so tired that morning it had finally caught up to me.
I woke up later to a knock on my door. I answered it and there was mom. I went over to turn off my player, which was still spinning.
“You fall asleep up here?” she asked me.
“Yes. Is it time for dinner?” I asked fixing my hair in the mirror.
“Yes, if you had homework you can do it after. I’m sure you needed the sleep,” she replied. I nodded and followed her downstairs.
The living room clock said 6 o’ clock. I couldn’t believe I had slept 3 hours.
I sat down to my plate of chicken and vegetables as my family began to eat.
“So you girls know what you’re doing tomorrow night?” Dad asked.
“Yes I’m picking up Ashley at 6:30 then walking to the concert which is at 7. We plan to be home before midnight,” Alicia explained.
“Great plan girls, really well organized,” dad said. We smiled.
After dinner, I went back up to my room to do my homework. I had read my scenes in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ and do my History. The fairy queen actually had a lot of scenes in the next part so I read them over and tried to get an understanding of what was happening.
Stupid Sister Olivia had been so mad at the entire class. She gave us a nice little paragraph to write about why we thought the music of today was so much better then that of earlier times. I had finally gotten over my hatred for her so I wasn’t about to go back there again. I write a 2-page report on the history of music, music of all different eras including the Renaissance and how music is always changing and therefore entitled to do so. I would let it up to my fellow girls’ to argue with her.
I sighed with relief when I finally finished the report and was done with my work. The clock said quarter to 8. I decided to go downstairs and see what everyone was up to.
Dad offered to take us all to Louisa’s for ice cream sundaes, since our homework was done. I got a huge hot fudge sundae and sat down at the booth with my family.
While eating I smacked my forehead. I had forgotten to read a chapter of ‘The Scarlet Letter’ for English class. (Remember that from Chapter 1?) We always had more to do.
When we got home I read my chapter sleepily then decided to get an early night. I did my duties then said goodnight to all. I packed my bag for the next day then fell asleep at 9.
“Bang Bang Bang!” a heavy knock on my door went.
I got out of bed and sleepily opened the door.
“Just as I thought, look at the time,” Alicia told me.
My clock said 7:15! I shut my door in her face and quickly got myself ready.
Great all because of me, we would be late for our train.
I quickly ran downstairs and grabbed the orange juice, downing it in less then a minute. I grabbed the toast and followed my sisters out the door, bag in hand and Mom waving us off.
We walked quickly to the train station and barely caught it.
“Hey Alicia, you have any gum?” I asked after I had finished my toast on the train. She reached into her purse and found a stick.
“Don’t get caught with it,” she said. I nodded.
We pulled up at the station and I put my gum in a tissue. We got off and said goodbye to Sammy. Alicia and I quickly walked to the school. I got inside and barely got to homeroom between my locker and entering.
“Bad day?” Lucy asked when I flopped down at my desk.
I raised an eyebrow at her, “You don’t know the half of it.”
She laughed, “Tonight’s the big night huh? I hope you have fun!”
I got through my morning classes then went to lunch and went to the booth where Lucy, Linda, and Alicia were. Luckily, today they had pizza for lunch. After this, I went to English and we discussed the chapter of ‘The Scarlet Letter’ we had to read, I almost fell asleep again. I read my part in Shakespeare and we eventually got over the fact that a girl loved a girl because there were no guys to read the play with. I just visualized David then and I was fine.
Sister Olivia was nice to us today. We discussed the history of Rome instead of the sensitive subjects of today’s media. She even apologized to us for her mood the day before. She said her husband must have rubbed off on her.
After school, I met my sisters and we hurried home, for what reason I don’t know, we had plenty of time to get ready.
I went up to my room and did my homework from various classes and read another chapter of my English book.
By 5, it was time for our early dinner. Mom made something lite for us, figuring we’d catch something after the concert.
“You girls know the rules now. No fainting or anything during the concert!” Dad jokingly said while we were dining.
“Daddy! You know we’re not like that!” I said.
He smiled, “When you finally see your true love, it changes Maureen.
I rolled my eyes. Now he was the insane one!
I went up to my bedroom, my sisters following, and we each began to get ready. One by one we showered then went to our rooms to get dressed. I decided on another outfit my Auntie in England sent me; a black and white mod outfit. I wore a little more makeup then usual and even put my hair in a bun. My finishing touch to my apparel was my pin. Not just any old pin either. A few weeks ago my sister Sammy bought each of us a Beatles pin, mine said ‘I Love John!’ Alicia’s said ‘I Love George!’ and Sammy’s said ‘I Love Paul!’ I looked myself over then headed downstairs to find my sisters waiting. Alicia left to pick up Ashley at Grandma’s and Amanda was dropped off, I had forgotten she was going with us.
20 minutes later, Alicia and Ashley came back. Ashley was decked out in pins galore! She had all you could name, defiantly a fanatic!
By quarter to 7 we got our things together and said goodbye to Mom and Dad. Dad gave us our last minute lecture that he had already given a million times.
We walked to the theater where the Beatles were playing that night, tickets in hand. A light snow was falling as we entered the building and got our tickets checked.
The arena was buzzing with teenage girls. We fought our way through the crowds till we found the 3rd row. It was a great view, we could see everything.
5 minutes later, the Beatles were introduced. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! You could actually see their faces. Hear their voices.
They began with their usual songs and drove us all insane with their mop tops. Every time a girls’ favorite would play a solo or song, someone would be fainting behind us. Luckily none of us did so.
We didn’t talk through the entire concert because the screams and music were too loud for us to hear one another.
I watched John’s every move. He was so beautiful up there under the light. I thought a moment though. I had met him, all these girls hadn’t. They had no idea what kind of person he was. I felt so privileged to have experienced an encounter with him and the others.
I must have been staring at John for too long because he smiled at me. I blushed and turned away quickly.
Before I knew it, the concert was over at 8:30. Of course we didn’t get out of the arena for at least another 15 minutes because of how many people there were.
We left numbed and decided to stop at Louisa’s for some food. We each got fries and caught a table in the corner.
“Oh my God, that was so much fun! They are so much cuter in person! Of course you two would know that better would you?” Ashley said. I nodded with a smile.
“I saw John staring at you during the concert Mo! What do you think of that?” Sammy asked me. Just then I saw David enter the place.
“He’ll get over me,” I said getting up to greet my boyfriend.
“Hey babe how was your concert? What, Winston didn’t take you home tonight?” David joked. He ordered an ice cream.
“No but I sure must be a heartbreaker!” I replied. David laughed and we sat down at a table. I told him every detail I could about the concert and David listened intently.
“Girl, it’s nearly 10:30, we should get home because of school tomorrow,” Alicia told me.
I nodded and said my goodbyes to David then we went home. Amanda got picked up and Dad drove Ashley home while we got really for bed.
I didn’t realize how tired I was till my head hit the pillow. I was out in seconds. However that time, I made sure my alarm clock was set.
Part 2- 1966
I woke up this morning feeling fit and ready to conquer the day. I’ve just finished my senior year at the Catholic school and I’m so glad to be out. My sister, Alicia, finished last year and moved to an apartment across town to pursue her life long dream in culinary arts. I, on my end, was not so quick to get out of the house.
Graduation was filled with tears and smiles. I said goodbye to Lucy for a few months because she was moving to California for college. I promised I would come out and visit her as soon as possible. She promised to come home during her next vacation.
I dressed in my favorite mod outfit; mini skirt and blouse and headed downstairs. Sammy had left a trail of dishes before she had gone with Mom that morning to the train station. Mom worked too because the money was tight and dad had been long gone since 4. I cleaned up her dishes and then made myself some breakfast. I looked outside as the sun hit the window. Somehow I almost missed riding that train every morning, seeing the sisters. But I had grown up. My relationship with David was getting more serious and I was working every weekday at the bookstore in town.
I finished my breakfast, grabbed my purse, and drove to the bookstore.
Dad had bought me a new red T-Bird after I got my license at 17. I loved it but ironically my favorite thing was the radio.
I put my sunglasses on and flipped the radio on. The Beatles ‘Another Girl’ blared out. I smiled, the one thing that hadn’t changed. I opened my window a crack letting warm air blow through the car. I sang along with Paul McCartney and tapped the steering wheel to the music. I still had a crush on John Lennon after all this time, though I thought he could use a haircut. I had just found out about his marriage and child, for that matter, a year ago. I wasn’t too heartbroken though, I had my David and nothing else mattered. Life was good.
I pulled into the parking lot of the bookstore and went in. the good thing about working is I chose what I wear.
“Morning Maureen. You’re running the desk today. Caroline is sick,” Roger, the owner, told me.
“Poor Carry, its such a nice day,” I replied. I set myself at the cashier desk and out a big smile on my face. The customers were coming. My workmate, Hilary, burst in.
“Sorry I’m late! I slept too long!” she said quickly setting herself up at the books just as our first customer came in.
Hilary was our resident book organizer. She was also my newest friend. I started me job a month ago and she taught Caroline and I the tricks of the trade since she was 2 years older. The first time I saw her, I just couldn’t believe it, Hilary hailed from Greenwich Village, New York and was what everyone called a hippie or flower child. She wore miniskirts and embroidered shirts with love beads dangling from her neck and braids in her hair. She knows so much about culture out there and we’re so much alike.
“Bad day?” I asked her as she slipped on her glasses and began to organize the first books near the desk.
“It’s a Monday right?” she replied moving on to another shelf far off.
I laughed. It sure was.
I loved my job. When I wasn’t playing cashier, I was helping organize or ordering books. I also helped Roger with the money but I think he had that pretty well covered.
“Hello madam, can I help you?” I asked the woman who approached the desk.
“I’m looking for a book by a John Lennon. I think it’s called ‘In His Own Write?’” she asked, “My daughter wants it.”
I smiled, “Follow me.” I showed the woman around the corner and to the music/artists section.
“Here you are,” I said handing her the book, “This here is also a Lennon book he wrote last year called ‘A Spaniard in the Works.’”
“Oh well I’ll get that too thank you,” she said picking them both from me and we headed back to the cash desk.
“That’ll be $8,” I said. She gave me the money.
“Thank you for your help miss. I wouldn’t know a Lennon book from another.
“Have a good day,” I replied.
I really love my job. I think I’d rather be working in a music store but I really love books.
That morning I sold so many books I couldn’t even count them. A woman asked me about what I can recommend to a teenage girl. I loved to give people my opinions on books. I always told them ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Little Women’ were some of the best.
“Mo, you’re off till 1 if you want lunch,” Roger told me at quarter to 12.
“Thanks have you seen Hilary?” I asked.
“Over there,” he said pointing to a cart of books.
“Hill, you want to go for lunch?” I asked.
“Sure, I’ll finish these new shipments later,” she said.
We walked down the sidewalk to Louisa’s.
I was almost dying by the time we got to the diner. Luckily it was air-conditioned. We got a booth and sat down.
“There’s an unusual number of books today,” Hilary told me.
“A lot of people are buying too. I sold a Lennon book today,” I said.
She brightened, “Really? Wow for a teenager I assume.” I nodded.
There’s big common thread, we both loved the Beatles. Her favorite was George Harrison because he was getting into Eastern philosophy and Indian styles. She should be married to the Revolver album. I can’t tell you how many days I spent in her room just listening to it over and over.
“What would you girls like?” Louisa asked.
“Hamburger and fries,” we said at once. We looked at each other and giggled.
Just then, the Beatles song ‘She’s a Woman’ came on the jukebox.
“Speaking of which,” Hilary said with a laugh, “Did you get to see ‘Help!’ yet?”
“No I feel so bad. It came out last year and we still haven’t gotten to it.”
“Well I’m going Friday night after work if you want to come,” she said.
“Oh I would love to! The only thing is, I should bring Sammy along. She’d kill me lest she see her Paul!” I said.
“Ok well I’ll be over by 6 cos it starts at 7 and we can walk there,” she said. I agreed and said I’d mention it to my sister.
We then got our food and before too long, lunchtime was over. We walked back to the bookstore, trying to remember we only had 2 more hours to work.
I quickly helped people the entire time, actually getting the books for them. My fingers hurt from punching the cash register keys so much.
But before long while, 3 o’clock rolled around and I was off of work and on my way to pick up Sammy at school. Because I could now drive, that was my job, my family rarely got time to eat together, Mom and Dad worked till 7 or 8.
I drove up and parked at the sidewalk in front of the school. God I missed it. The bell rang 3:10 and the girls in their uniforms scurried out of the building. My sister and Amanda walked out of the school slowly, my guess because they were talking. Amanda hugged her then went her own way.
Sammy waved to her then hopped in the car.
“Hello! I’m so glad I don’t have to take that train any longer. It’s such a drag and why isn’t the radio on?” she inquired.
Good old Sammy, “I forgot to turn it on.”
She flipped the volume switch up and the music blared.
“How was your day?” she asked.
“I sold a lot of books,” I replied.
“What no David today?” she jokingly asked. I wanted to hit her but I couldn’t let go of the wheel.
You see, on Friday David came to the bookstore to say hi to me and we got caught up in talking in the storage room. Well in the end, Roger came this close to firing me because I had 3 costumers waiting. I would never do that again.
We pulled up in the driveway ad parked in the garage. I unlocked the door and Sammy slammed her bag on the floor, heading for the TV.
“Homework first my dear,” I said.
“You’re as bad as Mom,” she said flipping it off and getting out her work.
Of course I respected her. I read my book while Sammy spent an hour ranting over what she had to do, an hour later when she still didn’t have it all done, I pulled out the cookbook.
“How does chicken and rice sound to you?” I asked.
She nodded, “Fine, I’m almost done then I’ll help you.”
I headed to the kitchen and got out the necessary pans, then began cooking directly from the book. Mom never liked us eating out much so I had to do this. Sometimes I wished my sister the chef still lived at home, especially when I almost set the kitchen on fire.
Sammy joined me a few minutes later and we ended up having a decent meal on our hands by 6.
We ate, cleaned up our dishes, then decided what we were doing for the next 3 hours.
Our decision came to watching TV. I accepted even though the country was still buzzing since John Lennon’s ‘We’re more popular then Jesus’ comment happened. That’s all that was ever on anymore.
“Hey it’s that new show I like!” Sammy exclaimed. I liked it too, the Monkees were meant to copy A Hard Day’s Night and they sure did a good job of it. I also thought Peter Tork was quite cute. I once asked Hilary if she knew him cause she’s from Greenwich Village, she said she knew of him but not personally. Darn, I could have met him!
I caught myself thinking for a minute, all the Beatles were finally taken. Somehow I always had this feeling John would come back to me and sweep me off my feet. When I found out he had been married since 1962, with a child no less, I changed my mind. George married Pattie Boyd in the beginning of the year and Ringo married too. And no chance with Paul, I was positive he’d marry Jane Asher. Well I guess they were growing up, just like me. They were entitled, David hadn’t popped the question yet but I though he was bound to in a few months.
I was shaken out of my thoughts by Sammy’s giggle.
“Did you hear? That Micky is so funny!” she said.
I smiled and nodded in agreement.
A half-hour later Mom and Dad came home. They ate a late dinner and Mom took Sammy out on some errands with her. Dad said he had a headache and went upstairs to lie down. I was alone.
I called David and we decided to go out on a date Wednesday night.
By 9 I was dead tired. I did my nightly things then read a little bit of my book I had gotten myself stuck reading, Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’ and couldn’t out it down.
Around 9:30 I decided to put on a record for a little, see if I’d fall asleep. I placed ‘Revolver’ on and sure enough, I fell asleep 15 minutes later while John sang to me.
I woke the next morning at 7 to the rustling of people downstairs. Sighing, I decided I would make this an early day.
I opened my curtain and let the sun rise into my room. I dressed in a pair of flares and orange tank top. I loved wearing sandals during the summer; your feet are free. I put my hair up and applied plenty of eyeliner and lip-gloss, then strolled downstairs to see what was up.
“Get your bag Samantha, it’s time to go!” Mom yelled to my sister.
Sammy scurried out of the living room bag in hand.
“Sorry Mom. What are you doing up?” she asked me.
“Figured I’d get an early start. Take a walk,” I replied.
She nodded then said goodbye as Mom pulled her out the door.
I grabbed my light jacket, my keys and went for a walk. It was a chilly morning, a light breeze blowing the trees to and fro. I took the 10-minute walk around the block. Our neighbor, Mr. Johnson, was out bright and early mowing his grass. I waved and he motioned me over.
“Miss Maureen Clark, how are you?” he asked after turning the mower off.
“Pretty good. It’s a beautiful day,” I said. He nodded in agreement.
“What brings you here at this hour?” he asked.
“Well I’m taking a stroll then going off to work. Speaking of which, I ought to head home. Nice talking to you Mr. Johnson,” I sad as I walked away. He waved me off and then began his mowing again.
I hurried home and unlocked the door. The clock read 8:30. I made myself breakfast then got in my car and drove to work. I decided to flip my radio to a news station because I hadn’t heard anything lately. The man was talking about John Lennon’s ‘Jesus’ comment and burning Beatles records. I flipped my station back; I hated it. I would never burn my records just because of some stupid comment that wasn’t to be taken literally. Plus he was right. I’m not religious, even though I went to a Catholic school, people don’t go to church anymore. They listen to music and worship these people more then they do it. But then the nation wants to go into this big thing and say how independent we’ve been from England with our church for hundreds of years. I thought it was a crock.
I pulled up to the bookstore and parked. I ran into Hilary on the way in.
“You’re not late today!” I exclaimed.
“I know, I got up earlier!” she replied.
Roger greeted us and told me Caroline was back at her post taking care of the cash register so I was just helping people; my favorite thing.
I’ve always liked helping out, ever since I was little. I remember helping my Mom make dinner at 7 and clean the house. Alicia always helped to but she only did it cause had to. Sammy refused to do any physical work and still does to this day. I didn’t know who’s going to marry her. I was afraid of marriage, in a way; I mean I haven’t dated anyone but David so it’s not that part of the commitment. Its just mind blowing to think about being with that one person all day, everyday, for the rest of your life. Firsthand, it wouldn’t be easy; no marriage is perfect. And it wouldn’t be like dating, I couldn’t just be with him sometime and then not. To please one person and not all was weird. Giving up my job to be a housewife was my goal but it would be so hard because I had the freedom to leave if I wanted, to walk off with the man of my dreams, to elope. But I was never going to do that, I would leave when I married and I would marry David because I loved him.
Tuesday wasn’t a busy day in a bookstore. I felt weird just sitting there waiting. At the Catholic school we started in September and let out in August. It was hell. Poor Sammy had to go through it for 4 more years. Luckily they give you a lot of long vacations for national and religious holidays.
Finally noon rolled around and Hilary and I went to lunch again. It was a quiet day for us, I don’t know why. All I could think of was David and what he was doing, where he was. I got my answer a minute later.
“Mo! What are you doing here?” David called to me as he entered Louisa’s.
I ran up and hugged him, “Eating lunch with my friend Hilary.”
David sat down with us and ordered himself some lunch.
“It’s a drag of a day at the store, I guess no one wants groceries,” he told me. I giggled.
“No one wants to read either!”
“I wanted to ask you Mo, can we change our date to tonight? I have something important to tell you,” he asked.
I looked at Hilary, “Well sure Dave, pick me up at 7?”
He nodded. We then got our food and David asked Hilary what on earth the two of us could have in common. She replied the Beatles and he just rolled his eyes.
“Oh yeah you’re one too?” he asked.
She nodded, “yeah, they are fab, gear, and all that other good stuff!”
“You have their vocabulary down too?”
I laughed, “So do I Hill!”
“What’s your favorite song? I know my Maureen’s is ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’ for so many unknown reasons,” David said with a smile.
“I love ‘Taxman,’ got to be the best! What are your reasons Maureen?” Hilary asked.
I blushed, “Well one because John sings it, two because David sings it to me, and three because…well listen to the song!”
“Ok, ok hey I think we have to get back to work,” she said.
Darn, we did. I was already 1. I said goodbye to David and we went back.
2 hours went by like molasses. Hardly anyone came in again, although I did sell a book on Eastern Philosophy to a young guy. When work was finally done, I went back to pick up Sammy.
“You’re late!” she screamed as she hopped into the car.
“Bad day I see,” I said. She just stuck her tongue out at me.
“Oh by the way, I’m going out with David tonight not tomorrow so, should you be ok home alone?” I asked.
“Of course, I’m 14! What do you think I’m a baby?” she said.
I backed off and we pulled in the garage. Sammy did her homework right away and said she was headed to Amanda for the night. I knew she didn’t have enough guts to be alone. I left a note for Mom and dad so they knew, and then decided to call Alicia.
She was very surprised to hear from me and told me college was going good. I asked her every detail and she said her roommate was great. She loved the Beatles too, or Alicia had converted her to Beatleism. Her classes were fine; teachers were nice. I explained how my job was and what was going on at home. After an hour call, I hung up and began t get myself ready.
I took the 2 hours I had and used them to make myself beautiful, if David had something important to say, I was going to be fit.
In 2 hours David pulled up and I got in the car. He said I looked ravishing in my new red dress.
We went to that Old Italian Restaurant and I remembered when John Lennon came up to me. We had a nice dinner and then came the news.
“Maureen, I hope you’re proud of me, my parents are. I signed up as a Marine and I’m shipping out to Vietnam tomorrow,” he told me.
I just sat there. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me.
“You signed up? Leaving tomorrow?” I said.
“Don’t get upset. I’m serving our country. It’s every young man’s duty,” David explained.
I tried to smile a little. David did have a point, a nation at war needed its best young men fit to defend. But he didn’t know how much I would miss him.
We left the restaurant after a long talk of everything happening. David promised to write to me as much as possible. I said I would wait for him no matter how long it would be I would do it.
“I’ll come in if you don’t mind. Tell your parents,” David said when we pulled into the drive.
He told them and it was a mix of sadness and American pride.
That night I said my final goodbye to David for what could be months. I dare say maybe years.
I went to bed and cried myself to sleep, fearing I’d never see my David again.
I was numbed for days on end knowing I couldn’t call David. He was probably in that country already. I had heard things about this war ad I wasn’t sure the President was planning on too many survivors. Hopefully David would be the lucky one.
On Friday, I woke up and did my daily grind, trying to make it a good day.
“Morning Maureen, how are you feeling?” Mom asked when I came downstairs at 7. I had been sick to my stomach a few days.
“Getting better all the time. I just need to get my mind of it,” I said pouring myself orange juice and getting some bread to toast.
I sat down at the table and sipped my juice.
“I know how hard this is for you. When World War II was ending, your father got drafted. I was worried sick everyday for months. He had proposed to me and I thought we’d never be married. Plus I was carrying Alicia. A month after he came back I had her and we were finally a family. We married later that year when I was with child with you. It will work out in the end,” Mom explained.
I smiled. What a fairy tale that was and yet it was true.
Before Mom left I promised her I’d be fine and said goodbye to Sammy. I was finally alone.
I still had another few minutes so I watched TV. Nothing helped, and I went to work early.
‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’ came out of the radio as I drove and at that point I was determined to make this a good day. David wanted me to be proud of him and I was. He wouldn’t want me to be sad.
I pulled into the parking lot and entered the bookstore. Hilary was really early today and Caroline was on her job.
“It’s going to be a busy day,” Roger said when I went to my post as helper.
“Really? That will keep my mind off things,” I replied.
“Oh, I’d forgotten. I’m sorry,” he said.
“No I actually meant that. It will be a good day,” I said with a smile.
I got myself to work, helping the costumers from old to young. I was running back and forth around the store every minute helping people, helping my coworkers who were asking questions. My necklace was jingling on its chain. I had 2 on that meant something to me. My father gave me his mother’s engagement ring to wear on a necklace of metal. Alicia got her wedding band to wear, it meant so much to both of us. Sammy would get one of her other rings when she was older.
Suddenly, David’s class ring came off the necklace and fell within the books.
“Oh, Hill, help me!” I yelled over to my friend.
She ran over and began digging through, hoping it wouldn’t fall thru the cracks in the old shelves. She found it and handed it back.
“Never lose this, it might be the only thing you have of him later,” she said softly.
Tears filled my eyes because I knew it could be true. But this ring was my glitter of hope. I put it back on the necklace and around my neck to my heart.
When lunch came, Caroline, Hilary, and I headed over to Louisa’s. We got a table and ordered our food.
“Sorry about that comment back there. I didn’t mean it badly,” Hilary told me.
“It’s ok. You don’t believe in war do you?” I asked.
She shook her head, “No I mean, I’m a hippie, I’ve never liked war. My parents, my father died in World War II, I never met him. I know the pain of war, I just hope you won’t,” she explained.
“Thank you Hill. Caroline you look upset,” I said.
“No just thinking. My boyfriend got drafted into Vietnam. I know how you feel,” she replied.
We smiled at her and then got our food. Eating I think helped because we had a better time then. I out some Beatles on the jukebox and we danced around, milkshakes in hand.
We went back to work at 1 in good sprits. I helped with a smile not stressed, and the others did their jobs cheerfully. The store’s ‘fog’ had cleared and the sun shown.
Around 2 my mother came in the store to look around.
“Hi Mom, I’m doing alright,” I said.
“Good, what can you do for me?” she asked.
“What would you like?” I said gesturing to the bookshelves.
“What can you recommend for me?” she asked.
I thought a moment then took her to our selection of music.
“There you are,” I said.
She picked one up, “The Beatles History in Pictures? So far? This is obsession,” she mumbled.
I laughed, “Keep looking, and there’s Frank Sinatra stuff too. Sheet music, whatever. I have another customer,” I said walking back to the desk.
“Alicia what are you doing here?” I asked my sister who was waiting patiently at the desk, giving her a hug.
“Come to see this store I’ve heard so much about. I don’t have another class till 3,” she replied.
I gave Alicia the grand tour and she picked up a few books for her reading pleasure, including John Lennon’s ‘A Spaniard in the Works.’
“Alicia was just here Mom,” I told her when she came back to the desk to pay.
“Well maybe she’ll stop at home later or something,” she said.
“That will be $5 please,” I said holding out my hand.
“Have a good day, see you later,” Mom said when she left.
The last 10 minutes before closing time Hilary, Caroline, and I cleaned up for the weekend.
“So where are you headed this weekend Roger?” I asked my boss as I organized the register with Caroline and put in orders for more books.
“Off to Maine for a few fishing days,” he replied.
I smiled. Roger was always on a road trip every weekend; it always surprised me where he went next.
At 3:05 we all exited the store and Roger locked it.
“You girls have a good weekend!” he yelled to us as he started he silver Corvette and drove off.
“So be over at 6 to walk to the cinema,” Hilary said.
“Oh yeah, I’d forgotten! See you then!” I said as I climbed in my car. I waved to her and Caroline as they walked home. I think no matter what, Hilary would walk everywhere.
I pulled up to the Catholic School and waited for my sister. The girls came running out in the uniforms, throwing papers everywhere. I wondered why.
“Mo, it’s August 1st today!” Sammy exclaimed when she hopped in my car, promptly turning on the radio.
“And why are you happy?” I asked.
“It’s the last day of school!” she said.
“Oh,” I said when we drove home, “I had forgotten. So what do you have a month off?”
“Yeah, tonight’s the movie right?”
I nodded, “Hill’s coming at 6.”
We pulled into the garage and I opened the house. Sammy ran upstairs, most likely putting her book bag away till next month and changing out of that horrid uniform. She came back down in some clam diggers and a blouse tied up so you could see her navel.
“I don’t think Mom is going to let you out of the house in that,” I said.
“Why not? Look at you!” she replied. I looked down at my white miniskirt and red tank top along with sandals.
“I’m older then you are and I have a boyfriend,” I said.
“But what if I get one?” she asked. I raised my eyebrow and she sighed, lowering the blouse.
“See you still look older then you are Sammy. That’s why I’m worried about you,” I said.
She smiled at me and then bounced into the living room to watch TV.
I went up to my room to get the extra money from my dresser. My picture of David and I from the year before was sitting there. My family had taken a trip to New Jersey, the beach, and he went along. We were there in our bathing suits sitting under an umbrella in the shade. I smirked at it, wondering if David would ever hold me again.
I checked the rest of my room for flaws and on my bed was a note:
I just wanted to tell you I’m thinking of you since David left for the war. Mom told me last night a she was in tears thinking you would go thru what she had. For one you’re not pregnant, I know you better! (Haha)
Anyway, give me a ring of you need a chat and always remember Dave singing ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’ after a long night of dancing!
“Thank you Alicia,” I whispered in the air.
I headed down the stairs and sat down with Sammy to watch TV for a while.
By quarter to 6, the news was coming on and Hilary would be there soon.
“Can you survive without food for a little?” I asked as we grabbed light jackets.
“Be fine,” she replied.
There was a knock at the door and I opened to see Hilary standing there.
“Come on let’s get a move on,” she said.
I motioned Sammy out the door and we were on our way.
I hadn’t seen a picture of the Beatles too recently so I wondered what they would look like. I was positive John would be cute as ever. I could still remember the year before when my family finally went to see ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ together. Alicia and I were laughing nonstop thru the entire movie and Sammy hardly understood any of it. The movie made me want to be in their company even more, John was so mischievous! I found it hilarious when the band was playing ‘Tell Me Why’ in the theater and the fans were mouthing their names and screaming like psychos.
We entered the cinema with smiles on our faces and money in hand. After getting our tickets, I bought Sammy some candy and then we went into the theater.
It was red, the seats were soft and you could easily see over the person in front of you. We sat there 5 minutes before I lights dimmed and the movie began.
“Look at George! He’s so groovy!” Hilary exclaimed at the intro to the movie when they did ‘Help!’
She flipped out again later when George sang ‘I Need You.’
“Yes, yes you’re gonna lose that girl!” Sammy sang next to me. I tried to tell her to whisper but she eventually got me to do John’s lead part.
I watched John the entire time. ‘Winston’ certainly was cute!
“Bet you want to get into that pit with him eh Mo!” Hilary joked with me.
I whacked her arm, “No! If it was David!”
We laughed and gasped our way thru the movie till it was over. I raised an eyebrow at the credits; I wondered what the Beatles had been smoking when they did that.
We headed over to Louisa’s for dinner and all Sammy would talk about was her dear Paulie! She continues this obsessed all up until we entered our house and Hilary had gone home. Mom and Dad were eating dinner.
“Did you girls enjoy the movie?” Mom asked.
“Yes we did! I’m quite tired though. Goodnight,” I said.
I had suddenly felt very tired and needed to lay down.
I turned on my record player and out on ‘Rubber Soul.’
John sang to me and I was quickly falling asleep.
My thoughts turned to John. I cared for him and wondered where he was. I caught myself thinking of a kiss between us and stopped. David entered my head and finished it off.
I guess they would have to fight over my dreams.
Part 3- 1967
I woke with a splitting headache and hangover. My friends Lucy and Hilary were lying there on the floor with me.
“Oh my head!” I said getting up.
“Hey I told you what a few shots of brandy will do to you!” the man next to me said drunkenly.
I looked at him, not knowing whom it was.
“It’s just me Mark, remember?” he asked me.
I looked up at Mark and smiled. Oh yeah, I’d forgotten. I curled up to the guy. He was wearing jeans and had long hair. He had a whiskey bottle in hand.
Well what’s happened to me eh? I, Maureen Clark, finally moved out if my parents’ house. I came to San Francisco this summer to hang with Lucy and Hilary followed. We got caught in the fantastic Summer of Love. This is my first drinking party at Mark’s place. Mark goes to college with Lucy and I’m in love. David is just a memory; I have no idea if he’s still alive. I wouldn’t say Mark’s my boyfriend; I still have David’s ring, but Mark was my love interest. I can’t even remember what I did last night or took into my body. There was pot and bottles too. I still had my clothes on so that was a plus.
‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ softly played in the background as I sat up and Mark stood up.
“Let’s see how many people are here? Ah, 5. You want some breakfast?” he asked.
No one answered and he went to get himself something.
“Hey Mo, did you get some of this?” Hilary asked me holding the drug mentioned before.
I took it from her and got a hit. Highs were great.
“Orange juice for you,” Mark said handing me a glass.
I gulped it down and threw the glass across the room, giggling hysterically.
“Oh by the way, my friend Nat invited us to a club tonight. Want to go?” he asked me. I nodded.
My 2 friends finally got up and we fixed ourselves.
“What are we doing today?” Lucy asked taking an aspirin.
“I don’t know, we should eat I guess,” I mumbled back.
Mark came back after washing his face and sat down next to me. He pulled me up and danced with me. After about a half an hour of this, I decided I would go change my alcohol-reeking clothes before we went anywhere.
I went to Mark’s room, where I also slept, and grabbed my bag. I sighed looking at his bed, fixing a few covers. Even in my stoned state I was still organized. I took my bag to the bathroom and locked the door. The water felt cool on my face as I washed it, my hair was unmanageable so I washed it, by now my long brown hair was even longer and hung down my back. I braided flowers in it. Then I dressed. I put on my bellbottoms and sandals, then favorite embroidered shirt. My 6 bracelets and love beads. The finishing touch was the John Lennon mock glasses I had orange colored. I always wore David’s ring, though sometimes didn’t know why.
“Whoa, Mark get some pants on!” I screamed to him when I came out. He was dressing and in just his boxers.
He did as I said and we walked out the room. Everyone else had refreshed himself or herself and we decided to head out to San Francisco and tour the Haight-Ashbury section for the hundredth time.
We walked around, getting clothes, albums, and food, everything for free.
“Doesn’t that seem so long ago Hill?” I asked my friend when I showed her the ‘Revolver’ album.
“Decades. This is better though,” she replied.
I smirked. I’d always felt kind of out of place her in Frisco. That is till I got a substance in my body.
My job at the bookstore was useless now because in California I could get everything free. I quit and Hilary and I moved out her to be with Lucy, who also withdrew from college. Mark was still in but never went to class.
I was uncomfortable; I could never be called a true hippie. The only reason was I wanted to maintain my chastity. Nothing along those lines would happen till I was married. Even after all this time I still believed in it. At night I heard sounds thru Mark’s apartment and just put my pillow over my head and slept. I wouldn’t give myself to someone I wasn’t in love with. I was confused with Mark, he was my friend but also cute. I wished he wouldn’t come on to me all the time. Sometimes I just wanted to go home where it was safe.
The day rolled on and soon it was time to hit the club. We entered the Go-Go at 8. It reeked of whiskey, smoke and drugs. Black lights were everywhere and any light there was had been dimmed.
“Hey Nat man, how are you?” Mark asked his friend as they shook hands.
“Great. Have a seat here with me and my old lady Danielle,” he replied.
We sat down at the table and ordered numerous drinks. Soon enough the pot was going around. I declined, being happy with my drink.
Before too long, Hilary and Lucy had run off with some guys and Mark was stoned in some upstairs room. I knew he wasn’t faithful, and that’s another thing I didn’t like.
I decided to get myself up and do something. Tonight I was definitely not getting stoned; I couldn’t handle another headache.
My trusty glass of brandy and I roamed our way around the club, watching the people dance.
“You there, don’t I know you?” a man at a table nearby called me.
I looked to him. I didn’t recognize him very well but the round glasses looked familiar. Like the ones I had. He motioned me to sit down at the table and I did.
“Oh, you’re Lennon aren’t you? Winston I mean,” I said correcting myself.
“Call me John, no one cares anymore. I met you in Massachusetts in ’64 eh?” he asked leading to me; the black light lite up eyes.
“Yeah I’m Maureen Clark. I’ve moved here,” I explained.
He nodded, “Oh, glad to have you. You a flower child now?” he asked smiling.
“You could say that. I’m enjoying myself,” I replied.
“Well I enjoy your company,” he said softly.
I smiled. John Lennon was normal.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
He picked up a cigarette and smoked, “Hanging around San Francisco. Me mates are somewhere too. My wife’s back in Italy,” John told me.
“Oh cool,” I said.
“Whatever happened to that ring you wore around your neck? You know, your man’s?” he asked.
I pulled it out, “Here it is. I hardly know why I wear it. He’s been in Vietnam for a year.”
“Horrible, love is the answer you know. Do you think he’s alive?”
“I’m not sure. I-“ I trailed off tears filling my eyes. The memories flooded back of David and I together the night he told me.
John just embraced me, “It’s ok.”
“Thanks,” I sniffed, “You’re very nice.”
“I try to be. Tell you what, I’ll take you somewhere to be alone and you’ll be safe from all this drugs cos you’re such a sweet girl,” John explained. I nodded and we left the club.
John and I walked down the boardwalk. It was chilly out so he gave me his jacket.
“Here we are,” he said. It was a beach. We found a nice area to sit and began to chat.
He told me about his childhood and up until now what the band was going thru. I explained my situation and how I felt out of place. I didn’t feel like he was the John Lennon, I felt like I was talking to my friend.
“Anyway, so I miss David but I can’t do anything about it can I?” I asked.
“There’s rallies but you get yourself killed. Don’t worry; he’ll come back to you one day. If you truly love him, you’ll be there too,” John explained.
I couldn’t contain myself any longer.
“John, you don’t know how much I love you. I’ve loved you 3 years and it hasn’t stopped. Everything you do makes me love you more!” I told him.
John just smiled, “I know, I feel the same way.”
And with that John Lennon kissed me. I liked it but then pulled away.
“No, this isn’t right. I- I have to go home to David,” I explained, “I’ve screwed myself up enough with drugs this year. I love him; he’s my only one. I’m sorry John.”
He shrugged, “Think nothing of it. I have a wife and I must work that out. Want me to take you home?”
I nodded. John and I walked back to the club and hopped in his car. He took me back to Mark’s apartment and we said our goodbyes, exchanging numbers and addresses.
That same night I called the airport and put in a red-eye flight home for that night. At 10 I left a note for my friends explaining, then got my plane.
Somewhere around 2 am at home I got off the plane and got a taxi to bring me back to my childhood home.
I knocked on the door; setting the one bag I had on the porch. A light came on and I see my mother at the door.
“Maureen what’s going on?” she asked sleepily.
I hugged her tight, “Mom I’m home. I made a terrible mistake moving to California please forgive me!”
“I do, come in and go to bed.”
She helped me to my room and I decided to unpack the next day.
I phoned John, letting him know I made it ok, then crawled into my clean bed. I slept more soundly then I ever did across the country.
I woke up late in the morning the next day. It was a Saturday. I felt refreshed and so much better that I had gotten out of there.
I showered and dressed in my favorite outfit then went downstairs. As soon as I landed, Sammy grabbed me for a hug.
“I missed you! Where were you? What happened?” she asked.
“We’ll have lunch in my room and I’ll explain everything,” I replied with a whisper.
We went into the kitchen, and I found some tuna fish to make a sandwich. Apparently our parents weren’t home so we had the place to ourselves. Sammy helped herself to some tuna and after we finished, retired to my room to chat.
“So why did you move to California and leave me here all alone?” Sammy asked as we ate our sandwiches.
“Sammy, I felt like I needed to get away. My memories of David are here and…the thing is I came back,” I explained.
She nodded, “But what happened?”
“I moved in Lucy’s apartment with her and Hilary then we went around San Francisco and I met this guy named Mark. I moved in with him then. We had parties almost every night. I got drunk, I smoked pot. I never want to do that again. For months, until yesterday,” I said.
“What made you come back?”
“I was at a club and Mark and the girls were somewhere else. So I decided to take a walk around by myself. Well, I met up with John Lennon and we talked. Then he took me to a beach and we talked personal. He kissed me and I knew then I had to come home,” I explained.
“Wait a second, you came home after the guy you’ve always wanted kisses you?” she asked.
I nodded, “Yeah it’s true.”
“Wow, you’re strong.”
“I guess so. I’m back and going to patch my life back up.”
She nodded and then we went downstairs to place our dishes in the sink. Just as I finished cleaning them, the phone rang.
“Maureen? You are home! I have something to tell you,” Mrs. Gary told me.
“What might that be?” I asked, nervously thinking maybe David had been killed.
“David has come home! He’s here! Would you like to come over and see him?” she said cheerfully.
“Oh please! I will be right over!” I said.
I hung up, “Oh Sammy David is home! I have to go over to his house now!”
“Well I’ll go to Amanda’s,” she said getting her things and leaving.
I got my purse, checked my face, then got in my car and speedily drove to David’s.
I knocked on the door and Mrs. Gary answered.
“Maureen it’s so good to see you! David’s in the living room,” she told me after a hug, “I’m off to the store.”
“Oh if you please! My parents are at Louisa’s. Could you tell them where I am?” She nodded and then went on her way.
I took a deep breath, and then went into the living room.
Tears began to creep up; David was there but not really, he stared endlessly into the walls. There was a patch on his stomach.
“David! I missed you do for a year!” I exclaimed running up to hug him.
He held his stomach, “Mo, I missed you too! I’m so sorry I didn’t write you! I-“ he rambled.
“Oh Dave be quiet! I love you and don’t care,” I said, “What happened to your stomach?”
“I was shot. It was horrible; I never want to go back there again! I just want to be here,” he said.
I held him close to me for minutes. David reached behind his pillow and pulled out a black box.
“I have something for you Maureen. And I want to ask you a question,” David opened the box to show a beautiful gold ring with turquoise stone and diamond, Will you marry me?”
“Of course I will! Why didn’t you ask me sooner?” Dave you have no idea how much I’m glad I’m here. I was in California a year messing up my life and I came back!” I explained.
He smiled and kissed me, “I’m glad too!”
David and I talked of the past year and what happen to us both. The horrid stories of war made me cry and filled my soul with anger. I told him of my time in California.
“You did drugs? My good little Maureen did?” David asked.
“I did and completely regret it Dave. I also really met John Lennon,” I said with a smile.
“Really met?” he echoed.
“He kissed me and we talked,” I replied.
“Oh did he? Well then, run off with your John!” David said sarcastically.
“No way! I only have eyes for you!” I said eyeing up my ring, “It’s so beautiful.”
“Right before actually going to Vietnam the boys and I went to India and I bought that ring. I thought about you all the time and I want to spend my life with you,” he said.
“You will now,” I replied.
David’s mother came home just then, along with my parents.
“Hello David, it’s great to see you back!” my mother warmly greeted him. Dad shook his hand.
I showed Mom my hand.
“Oh my word! You’re engaged!” Mom said.
I smiled and hugged her. Dad gave his congratulations to us both.
We didn’t stay much longer and I had to say goodbye to David and promised to visit him the next day.
We picked up Sammy and went home to dinner. After that Sammy and I retired off to Louisa’s for ice cream.
“How does it feel to be the soon Mrs. Gary?” Sammy asked pointing her spoon to my mouth.
I giggled, “It feels very happy!”
“Oh really? I’m quite sure of it! Are you going to tell Alicia the news? Sammy said.
“Straight when I get home,” I replied.
We went home and the clock said 7. I called my sister from my room and we talked for 2 hours.
Afterward, I got ready for bed. I decided the next day to straight away get my job back and fix my life.
Part 4- 1969
“You two look very happy. Where are you going?” the stewardess asked David and I on the airplane.
“Our honeymoon to England. We were just married 2 days ago,” David explained.
I smiled at him. We were so happy together. The wedding was a beautiful one. We invited our friends and family. Saying the vows was so nerve-racking, my voice shaked with every word. The wedding itself was held on one of Massachusetts’s many small beaches; the wind blowing along.
At the reception I got a very big surprise. I had sent a letter to John telling him of the wedding and asking him if maybe he could come. I didn’t see him at first but then sure enough, there he was with his new wife Yoko Ono. He looked truly happy for once, a twinkle in his granny glass covered eyes. George also came and apologized for the other two who were busy. I got presents for them both. John and Yoko gave me a piece of art signed by them both; a pretty white dress similar to the one Yoko wore for their wedding, and a pair of real John glasses. He said now I could really be like him. I smiled and kiss his cheek while giving Yoko a hug. George gave me a signed by them all copy of Abbey Road, their new album, and a gift from Pattie which was something of George’s for David.
The wedding table consisted of us, my parents and his, my maid of honor Alicia, brides maids Lucy, Sammy, and Hilary (Yes, those two put their lives back together). David’s best man was his friend from Vietnam Mike and a few of his other friends.
David surprised me with our wedding song, I hadn’t chosen because I was to busy with everything else. He chose ‘Something’ by the Beatles. It was dedicated to me. I also dedicated a song to him, ‘Dedicated to the One I Love’ by the Mamas and Papas. We also had our father-daughter dance. I loved finally being able to dance with my dad and not step on his feet. I had promised a dance with both Beatles that night so I took care of that with ‘And I Love Her,’ with John and ‘I Need You’ with George. I loved watching John and Yoko so happy; he truly looked like a completely different person with her. Our party went late into the night, the David and I retired back to our hotel room for 2 days. Now we’re headed to England.
“Isn’t this exciting? My Auntie is so nice to let us stay with her,” I said gleefully holding David’s hand.
“Yes it is. Right in the heart of London too. We can visit places, maybe get into Abbey Road Studios,” David replied.
“David! We shouldn’t invade their privacy!” I said.
“Oh, they wouldn’t mind. Maybe we’ll meet them anyway,” he replied.
I shrugged and then felt tired. I lay on David’s shoulder and fell asleep.
“Darling, we’re here,” David whispered.
I sat up noticing people exiting the airplane.
We got out and then went to get our bags. Together we had 10. We would be in London for a month. We got a taxi to my Auntie’s house, which reminded me of John Lennon’s mansion he used to have Kenwood, and knocked on the door.
“Hello newlyweds!” Auntie screamed as she invited us in.
The house was just as big as Grandma Julia’s with several rooms. Auntie showed us to ours, a he room with a huge size bed and just as big bathroom. The view showed us London.
“I feel so at home,” I said with a sigh.
David smiled, “What would you like to do? It’s only 11.”
“Let’s just walk around,” I replied. I grabbed my purse and we headed out.
A light rain fell from the sky as we walked arm in arm through London. We went and got lunch at a café then continued our walk.
“Can we sit a minute, I need a break,” I told David once we came to a park. He nodded and we sat.
Suddenly, a huge sheep dog came up and jumped on my lap, licking my face in response.
“Dave, get it off!” I giggled trying to push the dog off. He tried but failed as it turned to him and continued licking.
“Martha!” a voice called out. Her ears perked up and she ran back to her owner who was fast approaching us.
I on the other hand was deep in thought. Martha? Martha my dear da da dum…Paul!
The man came up to us, out of breath, “Martha behave!”
He pet her lovingly and joined us on the bench.
“Hi, you might remember me,” I said giving my hand to Paul.
He raised an eyebrow and looked deep into my eyes.
“Oh are you, that girl from Massachusetts?” he asked.
I smiled nodding, “Yes it’s me; Maureen Gary used to be Clark. This is my husband David. We’re here for our honeymoon.”
“Oh, nice to meet you Dave,” he said, “Why would you ever come to England for a holiday?”
“I’ve never been here and it’s so nice!” I said.
“If you say so.”
“Say, John has been talking about your wedding all the time now. Would you like to come to the studio with me and see how it’s done?” Paul asked.
I brightened, “Sure! When do we go?”
“I have to take Martha home and then I’m heading over,” he explained.
I looked at David who nodded in agreement, “Ok we’ll follow you home.”
David and I followed Paul to his house, Martha following closely behind. After about a 10 minute walk, we came to a small but very nice home.
“Here we are. Did you want something to eat? Linda is probably making breakfast anyway,” Paul said as he unlocked the house, “Lin I’m back and I brought some friends.”
“Oh great, would they like some food?” she asked from the kitchen.
Paul went up to her and have her a kiss, “Yes of course. Hi Heather,” he hugged the little girl at her mother’s feet. David and I continued standing at the door.
“Come on in and have a seat at the table,” Linda said setting vegetable omelets on the table for us. We took off our coats, which Paul gladly put away, and then sat down to a breakfast with the McCartney’s.
“This is the girls’ wedding I couldn’t go to 2 days ago,” Paul told his wife as we ate.
“Oh you make a nice couple,” Linda said.
I smiled, “Thank you.”
“Johnny said he got a few dances out of you. I didn’t even know he could dance!” Paul joked.
I laughed, “Oh he’s a great one. John’s always been my favorite.”
“Not one for the cute Beatle are you?” Linda asked.
Paul laughed, “Don’t embarrass her, Johnny’s got fans!”
We finished our breakfast and then headed over to the Studio.
“Your daughter is very pretty Paul,” I told him while we entered the Studio.
“She’s not mine. Linda’s from before,” he replied.
“Hey Johnny look what I found!” Paul yelled to his friend who was recording a song.
“Oh I forgot about your honeymoon. Good to see you," John said hugging me and shaking David’s hand, “George play it back.”
The man, George Martin, in the sound booth playing a song called ‘Across the Universe.’
David and I stayed at the studio for hours, watching the band play and record new songs and remixes of old songs. I also noticed a lot of tension between the band, John making sarcastic comments at every turn.
David and I decided to leave at 5 for dinner.
We talked and talked for 2 hours, before retiring back to my Auntie’s house. We watched TV for an hour then decided to go up to our room.
I showered and then David followed. We ended up laying on our bed looking at each other.
“So what do you want to do?” I asked with a smile.
What happened next doesn’t need an introduction or any details.
David and I spent our honeymoon in England very fully. We even stayed 4 months ore, not caring about our money or jobs for now.
Some of the days I occupied Pattie Harrison shopping or Yoko Ono to art exhibit. David hung out with the Beatles at the studio. He was trying to learn the guitar. At night he told me stories of fights between the band and filming certain parts of it. Sometimes he was so afraid of the tension, he stayed inside the sound booth with George Martin.
I helped all the Beatles wives with different jobs. As I said, I hung out with Yoko and Pattie. I also helped Maureen Starr with their son Zak. I told Maureen that he was going to be a famous drummer one day. We joked about the powers of the name ‘Maureen’ and the good things it had given us. I went to Paul’s frequently and hung out with Linda. She’s a very smart woman.
My friendships with each of the Beatles had grown. John and were more like brother and sister then he being my former infatuation. I missed the days of his brown moptop and glistening eyes, but I also liked the newer John. Not as confused and still just as handsome.
When I would visit John and Yoko at home, sometimes his son Julian would be there. He was a cute little image of his Dad; I couldn’t imagine how handsome he would be later on.
I befriended George as a guide. He helped me see what was really important in life and find my own spirituality. Ringo and Paul were there for advice and to joke with.
“Where are you going today?” David asked me on my way out.
“John’s I’m watching Julian. Cynthia said I could,” I said.
I left and grabbed a taxi to John’s. Yoko answered and kindly greeted me in on their way out. She told me Julian was in the den.
I walked into the den and heard the front door shut. Julian was sitting there in a chair reading a book.
“Hey you,” I said to him. He looked up and smiled at me.
“Hi Maureen!” he said giving me a hug. This was the cutest 6 year old you were ever going to see. He looked roughly like his Dad but was his own cutie.
“So what do you want to do today?” I asked kneeling by the couch.
He put his finger to his lip, “Could we swim?”
“I just happened to bring my suit today! How about if we eat some lunch first?” I asked.
He nodded eagerly and took me to the kitchen.
I decided to make some sandwiches and we ate.
Half an hour later Julian ran up to his room to change and I went to the bathroom to change into mine. I slipped on the red 2 piece I had and looked at myself. Something was changing. I had been feeling a little sick lately and I felt weird. I disregarded it and met Julian back in the den.
“Ready?” I asked.
“Yes!” he said dragging me thru the house to the outside.
He took a leap in the pool creating a small splash. I stepped in till I was completely in then dunked myself. Julian and I spent 3 whole hours in that pool, playing ball and just swimming around.
Soon enough, I heard John’s car pull up and told Julian we should get out now. It was 3 by then anyway.
Julian ran upstairs to change again, while I made my way slowly thru the house, looking at the pictures. I saw a room I had never been in before and entered it. John was sitting at the white piano playing a song. In fact, the entire room was white and beautiful. I wrapped the towel around my waist and went up to John.
“You play beautifully,” I said sitting down next to him.
“I’ve had lots of practice you know,” he replied placing an arm around me. I looked into his eyes. They smiled back at me.
“Well John I ought to be going now. I think I want to stop at the doctor anyway, I’m feeling a bit ill,” I said heading out of the room.
“The heat can get you too. Hope you’ll be ok. See you later,” John said.
I went to the bathroom and changed then took a taxi over to the doctor.
“You’re symptoms seem normal. Can I just give you a check up to be sure my gut feeling is right?” the woman doctor asked. I nodded and put on the dressing gown. She checked me out then left the room to look at her results. She came back a few minutes later.
“Congratulations, Mrs. Gary, you’re pregnant!” she said.
I swear my mouth dropped open, “Pregnant, wow! Well I’m glad I came here!”
I dressed and headed back to my Auntie’s. David wasn’t yet home and I told Auntie, she was thrilled.
Once he got home, I took him to a private room to talk.
“Dave, I have something very important to tell you,” I said.
“What is it?”
“I’m pregnant,” I said.
“Wow! This is great!” he said taking it better then I thought, “How far along?”
“Well then I guess in 4 months we’ll have a new addition!” he said smiling. All I could do was kiss him.
The snow was falling heavily on the ground in Massachusetts on this December day. I watched the children play outside in it.
“Mommy! Dylan threw a snowball at me!” Hannah, our youngest, complained as she ran back in the house. I looked out the window to my son and he just gave me the ‘what did I do?’ look.
“There, you’re ok. Tell Dylan Mommy says not to do that again,” I told her. She ran back out to finish their snowman before the sun went down.
I sighed. I had already raised 2 children. Dylan John, our first born, was 1970; he’s 10, Hannah Eleanor was 1974; she’s 6. And we had another due in 4 months.
David and I were happy. I was happy I had finally worked this out and was going to get my white picket fence after this one David and I decided no more children. At 32 it was becoming dangerous to have more.
The bell in the kitchen rang went off and I drug my ‘big as a house’ self to it to get the chicken out of the oven.
I heard screaming just then and David say something. He entered the kitchen, coat still on, with kids hanging from his arms.
“Oh you guys tire me out!” he said, “Evening honey.”
I kissed him while chopping vegetables. The children went to the living room to watch TV.
“How was your day? And how’s our little baby?” he asked touching my stomach.
“Oh we’re both well,” I said.
We got around to eating dinner by 7 and finished by 8. The family sat around watching TV for an hour and then the kids had to be put to bed for school the next day. David and I stayed up watching late night TV for hours.
I began to fall asleep just as a breaking report came on the news around midnight.
“Singer John Lennon, a former Beatle, was shot by a deranged fan today. He was pronounced dead at 11 pm,” the reporter said.
I looked at David who had just got up to comfort me.
“Oh Dave! It’s not true! It can’t be true! He’s my friend!” I rambled.
“Shh, it’ll be ok. Why don’t we head up to bed? See more tomorrow,” he asked. I nodded and he helped me up to bed.
I couldn’t sleep one wink that night, all I could think about was the news report I heard. How could he? Sean was still so young! He deserved a father! Tears filled my eyes once I had finally fallen asleep.
I woke up the next morning to an alarm clock playing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine.’ I had to get my kids to school.
I washed my swollen face then got dressed; David was long gone. I woke my babies and eventually got them off to school.
“Isn’t that your friend Mommy?” Hannah asked as I dropped her off.
“Yes Hannah dear, a good friend of Mommy’s. See you later,” I replied.
I drove home and sat in the living room dazed. The TV had John all over it. I left it on and turned on the radios in the house. I didn’t care what my neighbors thought.
My real mission was the attic. I went up the steep stairs and into the dusty old room. I flicked the light, looking through all the boxes. Baby’s clothes, toys, photo albums, and here it was.
The box was untitled ‘Maureen’s Beatles Box.’ I drug it down the stairs and to the living room. I blew the dust off the first thing. My first Beatles record ‘With the Beatles.’ I had saved all my old records, magazines, and several other things over the years, especially pertaining to John. I pulled out the love letters I had written to him one boring night at home and read over them. What a mind I had! Yoko’s mock dress was there and looked at it. I had a small photo album of pictures. John and me, his kids and mine.
I spent my whole day looking at old memories of my life. I missed my parents. They had died but 2 months apart 2 years ago. Sammy was no longer a little girl; she was 28 and married to a man in Texas. Alicia was all the way over in Ireland working for who knows who. I was the only one who stuck to my roots, surprisingly since I was most independent.
Once David got home and the kids we ate and then I spent the night teaching my children about the Beatles, we listened to every single record and looked at all my things. David was amused. He said I was brainwashing them. I just smiled and kept explaining the concept of moptops. John would have been happy with me.
It is now a new millennium, 2 years in, and I’m an old woman. My first 2 kids are grown and out of the house, Dylan is now 32 and married with 2 kids in Pennsylvania. Hannah is 28 and married to a nice man in Florida.
I sit here in this house, waiting for my 3rd child and husband to come home from work. Marianne Rachel is 21 and works at a local bookstore. She says in idolizing her mother. She says, ‘Mom you’re not old! 54 is not old!’ I smile, she is right.
I still go through my things and Sammy comes to visit every once in awhile. Alicia phones me every other day.
A tear falls from my eye as I think of 3 months ago when my dear friend George Harrison died. It was horrible, I was so sad. It helped me to be able to see his music videos on TV and hear his songs everywhere.
I smile as I see Paul on TV singing, happy again with his fiancée Heather Mills. She’s a very sweet girl.
David and Marianne finally come home and my daughter heads over to her friend’s house for movie night.
“We’re here,” David told me when we came to the diner.
I was wearing a nice skirt and blouse and David a suit.
It was the restoring of Louisa’s here, a big moment. We entered it and it was like nothing had changed. The jukebox was still there and after ordering, David and I began to dance.
‘And I Love Her’ began as my high school sweetheart and husband of 33 years held me close. I closed my eyes and imagined our first date here back in 1964 when I found my true love and true band. Nothing had changed and it never would.